October 2008 Newsletter, vol. 19

Welcome to the first October issue of the OTW Newsletter! We’re constantly on the lookout for ways to keep fandom up-to-date and informed about what’s going on behind the scenes here at OTW, so twice a month, Community Relations compiles updates about what the various committees are working on and we share them here.

All issues of the newsletter will be tagged accordingly, so you can follow our progress chronologically.

Academic Journal Update from mafaldastasi

No. 1 of Transformative Works and Cultures, the academic journal, which came out on September 15, 2008, is being extremely well received. Here are some links where TWC gets mentioned:

– http://www.ohindustry.com/2008/09/alotr-in-journal-of-transformative.html

– Jonathan Gray’s Extratextuals Blog, September 17, 2008:
http://www.extratextual.tv/2008/09/journal-births-and-blog-birthdays/

– Henry Jenkins’s blog, September 19, 2008:
http://henryjenkins.org/2008/09/aca-fen_raise_their_banners_hi.html

– Nancy Baym’s blog, September 25, 2008:
http://www.onlinefandom.com/archives/first-issue-of-transformative-works-and-cultures/

No. 2, which will be released on March 15, 2009, released its call for papers. This special issue will focus on Games. The TWC editorial team is actively looking for submissions.

Accessibility, Design, and Technology Update from black_samvra

AD&T are working on Tag Wrangling right now: the tags like ‘Fandom,’ ‘Character,’ and ‘Pairing’ that rename themselves, merge and move around – that’s our Beta tag wranglers hard at work! We’re also planning the next wave of new functionality and working through the awesome feedback you gave us.

We’re planning on putting out updates to the archive software on a weekly basis, so look for bugfixes and new features to roll out in a batch. Our first one will most likely be this Friday.

Board Update from kellyannbessa

The Board continues to focus on the newly launched projects, and also the rapidly approaching election.

Community Relations Update from femmequixotic

Community Relations continues to help Elections with the upcoming elections process, as well as get the word out about the beta version of the archive and the soft launches of both the website and Fanlore.

Content Policy Update from ainsley

Content Policy continues to do what it does best: writing policy with which we hope people will be content–more of which will be unveiled very soon!

Development and Membership Update from ignazwisdom

We’re gearing up for our big donations drive, which is starting very, VERY soon! You can donate to the OTW at any time, but next week we’re going to making a push for contributions, including new memberships. As a reminder, if you want to participate in the OTW Board election next month, you must have paid your annual membership dues of US $10 by October 19.

Elections Update from eponis

The first deadline for candidacy for the Board came and went, and two members declared their candidacy, as many as the number of seats opening up on the Board. As detailed in our FAQ, this means that the deadline was extended a further two weeks, and this week is the final opportunity to declare candidacy. Once we have a final count, we look forward to announcing the candidates and, if necessary, gearing up for an election. Even if we don’t end up holding a contested election, we will still publicize details about the candidates and hold a public chat with them, so our membership can get to know the new Board members!

Financials from sandersyager

Due to the failing economy, FinCom is placing our campaign of shark references on hold for this newsletter. What we have instead is a brand spanking new volunteer, Sanacrow who has come on board as our official OTW accountant, taking over duties previously shared between the wonderful Susan and Celli. Sanacrow has joined us just in time to continue work on the 2009 budget and take part in last round of triumphant FinCom “dancing” over having official 501(c)3 status for OTW. By dancing we, of course, mean studying spreadsheets and discussing the season premieres, reaffirming that one can be a shark *and* a fangirl.

Legal Update from killalla

Recently, the Legal Committee has been discussing and advising on licensing options for the archive software, while continuing to support other committees with diverse matters. And as always, we try to respond promptly to queries from members of the public as they arise.

Open Doors Update from Francesca Coppa

Open Doors is continuing to work with ADT on an “import”/”hoover” feature for older stories and is also researching libraries to house fannish artifacts of various kinds.

Public Relations Update from jacquez

After prepping like mad in case the press noticed our soft launches, the Public Relations Committee took a short break. Next, we’ll be back to working on our strategic direction for the upcoming year!

Systems

No update at this time.

Translations Update from logovo

We’re celebrating seeing all our hard work up on the OTW page! Plus, additional languages are still pending beta and upload.

On the Elections front, we’ve finished up and uploaded Spanish and German translations of the Elections FAQ and timeline, and we’re shooting for having other languages done this week, as volunteer time allows.

Also, other committees have work heading our way (*waves to Elections*) so we’re looking forward to getting our hands on the next project.

Volunteers and Recruiting from kellyannbessa

Volunteers is doing a lot of work in preparation for the organization’s upcoming second term.

Webmasters Update from juniperphoenix

The new website officially launched on October 1! (See our welcome post for details.) Thank you to everyone who has sent us feedback; it is greatly appreciated.

At the moment we’re getting settled into our new maintenance rotation and continuing to document technical info and procedures. Since so many OTW projects have launched recently and information about them is changing quickly, we are also reaching out to our fellow committees to encourage them to check their website content and make any necessary updates.

Wiki Update from angstslashhope

The Wiki Committee is proud to announce the soft launch of the Fanlore wiki: since last week the wiki is open for a its beta phase, which means we’re still testing how everything works in practice as well as responding to queries, suggestions and general feedback. In the process, Fanlore is growing rapidly as contributors add content and their practices are formed, while we alter and develop structures and supporting material as needed. It’s an exciting time and we’ve been thoroughly swept off our feet!

To give you an idea, here are a few fun numbers. Since the soft launch last Monday, we have seen
– About 100 new articles per day;
– Approaching 10,000 edits altogether;
– By over 300 registered editors.

Discussion pages are lively, as editors get their hands dirty on the tricky issues that come hand-in-hand with the early days of a project such as this, and the Wiki Committee is all hands on deck as we keep up with it all. We’ve also set up a Fanlore chat room to talk with contributors who seek assistance, inspiration or just company in real time. The room is open whenever any member of the Committee is available, and a notice on the front page of the wiki indicates whether it’s open or closed at any given time. Don’t hesitate to come in if you see the light!

Now let’s look forward: we are compiling, prioritizing and gradually tackling issues and bugs as they occur, but obviously, there’s only so much a little committee can do! So, following our grand plan, we will in the near future gather together a team of gardeners to help us keep track of all the edits and assist with wiki basics, and we will set them loose upon Fanlore to roam and help you. If you’re interested in becoming a gardener, you can leave your name on the Gardeners page: we might not answer right away but we take every name under consideration, of course. In the meantime, gardener-in-waiting or not, do not hesitate to jump in and start contributing! We look forward to seeing you there.

What details would you like to know? Please give ComRel a helping hand and let us know! Email us at comrel @ transformativeworks.org.

–femmequixotic, bethbethbeth, ciderpress, mirabile_dictu, shrift, svmadelyn
Community Relations Committee

Edited Financial blurb at committee’s request to correct the accountant’s name.

September 2008 Newsletter, vol. 17

Welcome to the first September issue of the OTW Newsletter! We’re constantly on the lookout for ways to keep fandom up-to-date and informed about what’s going on behind the scenes here at OTW, so twice a month, Community Relations compiles updates about what the various committees are working on and we share them here.

All issues of the newsletter will be tagged accordingly, so you can follow our progress chronologically.

Academic Journal Update from mafaldastasi

The Academic Journal is getting ready for its first issue, September 2008!

Accessibility, Design, and Technology Update from black_samvra

AD&T are preparing for Beta testing of the Archive and doing a lot of tweaking and beautifying (it’s a word!). This is a ‘house’ thing and purely internal but keep your eyes open for more details in the next update!

The Archive front end (the bit people actually see) is coming together and starting to look really good. Our Design, Code, Test teams are putting in an incredible amount of work while radiating vibrant, if slightly insane, enthusiasm.

Board Update from kellyannbessa

The Board continues to work with various committees to provide guidance and keep projects on track as the new website, the wiki, the archive, and the journal move forward.

Community Relations Update from femmequixotic

Community Relations has started to help Elections with preparatory plans for the upcoming election! We’re also anticipating the launches of the archive, journal, wiki, and website 2.0 and will be continuing our Spotlight On… series.

Content Policy Update from ainsley

We’ve finished drafting the policies for additional features the Archive will offer, and are looking forward to receiving feedback on them. They’ll be posted when the new version of the website goes up, so that we can host the discussion there rather than LJ.

Development and Membership Update from ignazwisdom

We’re keeping very busy over here, consulting with our merchandise researcher in hopes of opening an OTW store soon and doing what we can to support other committees as we approach our first elections, the launch of Website 2.0, and the launch of the beta versions of Fanlore and the Archive.

Elections Update from eponis

Elections is revving up for the upcoming Board election in November. We’ll shortly be announcing a detailed Elections FAQ and timeline for 2008’s election season. Our committee members are hard at work preparing for voter and candidate rosters, ironing out details with our external polling service, and planning our helpdesk service for the election itself. We’ll soon focus on recruiting candidates and publicizing how to vote, in order to get the fullest participation possible!

Financials

No update at this time.

Legal Update from killalla

The Legal Committee continues to provide support to other committees, reviewing further Terms and Conditions and related policies, as well as advising on guidelines and other drafting matters. As ever, we attempt to respond promptly to queries from the public as they arise, as well as work to make relevant material available on the website.

Open Doors Update from Francesca Coppa

Open Doors is working closely with ADT on the Archive. We are also working on plans to reach out to current archivists and maintainers of fanfiction collections once the archive is opened. We’re also beginning to think broadly about the physical and digital preservation of early fannish artifacts like print zines, slides, and videocassettes.

Public Relations Update from jacquez

PR continues to work on updating the key messages, and developing resources for our press kit (both hardcopy and electronic).

Systems

No update at this time.

Translations Update from logovo

After uploading translations of the new OTW website in five languages, we’re presently coordinating with our volunteers for uploading three additional languages. Bahasa Indonesia, Nederlands and Português!

Also, other committees have work heading our way (*waves to Elections*) so we’re looking forward to getting our hands on the next project.

Volunteers and Recruiting from kellyannbessa

Volunteers has been busy with several projects related to the upcoming election. Additionally, we are looking for some graphics for OTW swag, and have extended the search for Systems committee members.

Webmasters Update from juniperphoenix

The Board has reviewed the draft of Website 2.0, and we are making last-minute tweaks to prepare for launch.

Wiki Update from angstslashhope

The Wiki Committee are putting the last finishing touches to Fanlore interface and policy in preparation for imminent soft launch.

What details would you like to know? Please give ComRel a helping hand and let us know! Email us at comrel @ transformativeworks.org.

–femmequixotic, bethbethbeth, ciderpress, mirabile_dictu, shrift, svmadelyn
Community Relations Committee

August 2008 Newsletter, vol. 16

Welcome to the August issue of the OTW Newsletter! We’re constantly on the lookout for ways to keep fandom up-to-date and informed about what’s going on behind the scenes here at OTW, so twice a month, Community Relations compiles updates about what the various committees are working on and we share them here.

All issues of the newsletter will be tagged accordingly, so you can follow our progress chronologically.

Academic Journal Update from Mafalda Stasi

The Academic Journal has been preparing documentation for copyedit and layout. The copyediting team members have received editing assignments. The journal is on track for its first issue in September 2008.

The editorial teams are thinking about content for No. 2, which will come out in March 2009.

Accessibility, Design, and Technology Update from Black Samvara

AD&T are working on Browse fanworks (what’s new/interesting/popular) and Subscriptions (tell me when so-and-so updates their WIP/posts a new story/updates a series/etc.). We’ve been working with our beautiful front end coding team to make the archive user friendly and I’ve been posting random Aussie bush poems to the Test Archive and then searching for them because watching the search results popping up fills me with glee.

Board Update From KellyAnn Bessa

Having survived VividCon, we’ve been discussing elections, internal reference materials, and the Org’s schedule for next year.

Community Relations Update from Beth H

Courtesy of the HP con Terminus, 4/6 of ComRel was able to get together on our usual meeting night and pretend to be discussing committee business. No formal OTW presentation was made at the con, but Femme and I did find occasion to whisper “…I hear you’re in the market for a multi-fandom archive” to numerous friends and acquaintances.

In other news, Henry Jenkins latest blog entry (“How Fan Fiction Can Teach Us a New Way to Read Moby-Dick (Part Two)”) discusses the OTW in the “‘Transformative Work’ of Fan Culture” section

Content Policy Update from Ainsley

The Content Policy committee has been preparing the draft of the Archive’s additional policies, which will soon be ready for public comment. Additionally, we’ve continued with the edits on the Archive’s ToS based on that set of public comments.

Development and Membership Update from Ignaz

We recently welcomed a new researcher, Kahtya, to our team, and now we’re moving forward with plans for our next donation/membership drive, in conjunction with producing some limited-edition OTW merchandise. We continue to meet weekly to work on these and other projects. You can still join or donate to the OTW at any time!

Elections Update from Ellen Fremedon

No update at this time.

Financial Update from sandersyager

In the wake of this summer’s Shark Week, FinCom has been swimming along, slowly but surely navigating the waters of filing OTW’s first 990, hunting for a volunteer accountant, and making plans toward an interim report on expenses and income so far in 2008. Cookies have been shared, cons have been visited, jobs and real life have threatened to hook each of our faithful financial sharks, but we’re back together and ready to sink our teeth into the task of preparing the 2009 budget and coming up with more aquatic puns for the newsletter.

Legal Update from Killalla

The Legal Committee continues to support other committees with diverse matters, from drafting confidentiality statements to advice on potential legal issues. We also aim to respond promptly to queries from members of the public as they arise, and we are working to make relevant material available on the website.

Open Doors

No update at this time.

Public Relations Update from LauraJV

The Public Relations committee is working on updating our communications strategy for the rest of 2008 (and beyond). (*See note at the end of this LJ entry about small revision. )

Systems Update from Jade Lennox

This is going to be the last systems committee update from Jade Lennox because systems is having a personnel change: I will be stepping down as chair, and will be replaced bylongtime committee member Sidra, although I will be sticking around as a committee member for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, systems has been at the beck and call of the website and wiki teams, updating stylesheets, MediaWiki, and Drupal modules as needed.

Translations Update from Lian

Our fabulous translation teams are excited about finishing up the website translation a project we’ve been diligently working on for a long time now (and we <3 them madly for their dedication!) . Once the website is up and shiny, we will apply ourselves to assisting other committees in making our projects accessible to an international audience. Volunteers and Recruiting Update from KellyAnn Bessa

We currently have an open job search for the Webmasters committee. They are looking for a PHP guru.

Webmasters Update from zvi

The Webmasters have chosen zvi as our new committee chair. Our previous chair, (Elke), stepped down in early August for personal reasons.

Work on Website 2.0 proceeds apace. We are polishing the look and feel of the site and working with the Translation team to make it truly multilingual.

We are searching for a volunteer PHP coder to work with us on an as-needed basis. Please see the job posting for details.

Wiki Update from Hope

The Wiki Committee are working busily with our beta volunteers to test run policy, hone interface and work on initial population in preparation for Fanlore’s soft launch.

What details would you like to know? Please give ComRel a helping hand and let us know! Email us at comrel @ transformativeworks.org.

-Femme, Beth H, Ciderpress, Madelyn, Mira, shrift
Community Relations Committee